Ahead of the crucial Urban Local Body elections in Odisha, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Friday announced that apart from having the right to exercise their franchise in favour of the candidates, the voters will also have NOTA option available on the EVMs.
The SEC has decided to include the ‘None Of the Above’ (NOTA) option in the forthcoming civic body polls in the State in a bid to empower the voters to use their discretion while voting.
What It Means?
If a voter does not support any of the candidates contesting in the fray, but has to vote for something, then they can select the ‘None Of the Above’ (NOTA) option.
SEC’s Latest Order:
The Election Commission of India has provided the option of NOTA to the electors for elections to Legislative Assemblies and Lok Sabha. The State Election Commission in exercise of the powers vested in it under Article 243 ZA of the Constitution has directed that the option of NOTA will be provided to the electors for the General Elections to the Urban Local Bodies.
NOTA shall be printed in the last panel of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) after the last candidate, with the NOTA symbol printed in the symbol column.
Odisha Panchayat Elections
The elections to three-tier Panchayati Raj institutions in Odisha will take place in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24.
Ahead of the crucial polls, Director General (DG) of Police, Sunil Bansal on Friday visited the Maoist-infested Malkangiri district to take stock of the ground situation. The DGP held discussions with senior officials and reviewed the poll preparedness.
Bansal also praised the efforts of the local police and BSF in tackling the left-wing extremism (LWE) in the region. “After assuming charge, this is my first visit to the region. It is a nice feeling to see our National Flag here. I urge the Maoists to return to the mainstream as violence is not the way since we are a democratic country,” said DGP.
After reviewing the poll preparedness, the DGP said that helicopters will be used during the Panchayat polls and drones will be pressed into service as well for proper surveillance.